I think even in the UK girls and women don’t talk that openly about their periods and how it affects their bodies, both physically and emotionally. It’s almost taboo in the UK too.
Well in certain parts of the world it is even more of a ‘no-go subject’ – you’d never talk in public, never mind to the media, about how your period has affected your performance. So it comes as a welcome breath of fresh air that China’s Fu Yuanhui spoke openly about how coming on her period the day before a big Olympic swimming final meant that she was not on top form. Fu said: “I didn’t swim well enough this time,” and apologised to her team-mates. “It’s because my period came yesterday, so I felt particularly tired – but this isn’t a reason, I still didn’t swim well enough.”
The Guardian reports on how the swimmer has gained lots of support for her frankness, especially in China where only 2% of women reportedly use tampons, something which makes swimming whilst on your period, safe and easy.
Periods are something which can make sporting life a tiny bit more complicated for girls and women. They have to make sure they have tampons or sanitary towels at the ready when they want to do sport comfortably and confidently, even when they are on their period. The Bodyform brand had a new ad campaign this summer reminding women that you shouldn’t let your period hold you back no matter who you are. Periods shouldn’t stop us from keeping fit. The tagline, discussed by advertising websites, is ‘no blood should hold us back’ and their video shows tough women pushing themselves so hard in sport and adventure that they draw blood. Watch it here:
Fu Yuanhui had already gained lots of media attention for her bubbly honest interviews. One of the best is shown in a Guardian article when she felt disappointed with her swim and then belatedly discovers she won a bronze.